The most beautiful month of the year here aka PRIDE MONTH! As we take the time to celebrate love and educate ourselves, it’s important to include our minis in these impactful conversations. We can effect so much change in this world through our little ones and that’s why it’s so important to make sure that we are raising the next generation to understand how to not only be good allies, but also to feel open to exploring their own identities, no matter what that looks like. Our minis are small but mighty and we as parents have the very special job of helping them grow into their power as both allies and individuals. The earlier we talk about the importance of equality and display an intolerance for anything less, the better.
We know that parenting looks so very different for everyone and we welcome and celebrate those differences. What resonates with one parent or one child may not resonate with the next. That’s why, here at Is This Normal, we’ve been brainstorming a variety of ways that we can introduce queer-inclusive messages to our little ones. Here are activities and conversation topics that may help your mini learn and grow with you this month and beyond:
Whether it’s one of your favorite daytime activities or you’re cuddling up before bedtime, books are a great way to get your mini engaged in LGBTQ+ topics. Books are powerful tools that we can use to help our little ones understand larger topics like gender nonconformity or homosexuality in a digestible way. They also make it much easier to segue into a larger conversation with your mini. Next time, rather than reaching for one of your babe’s go-to picture books, grab one of these to read together instead:
- Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag
- My Two Moms and Me
- Daddy, Papa, and Me
- I am Jazz
- And Tango Makes Three
- Julián is a Mermaid
- Jacob’s New Dress
- They, She, He Easy as ABC
- When Aidan Became a Brother
- 10,000 Dresses
- Worm Loves Worm
Aside from reading books, engaging in activities that help open a conversation about inclusivity and LGBTQ+ can also be a great way to make sure your babes are becoming familiar with the topic. As you facilitate these activities, make sure to engage your littles in conversation about why you’re doing this together. Messages about fairness, love, and equality are often well received and easily understood by our littles. Here are a few of our fave activities:
- Pride Party – Just because most of us have to miss our local pride parades this year doesn’t mean that we can’t recreate the same excitement at home for our minis. Designate a day or even a weekend in the month of June to celebrate with your family. Don’t be afraid to pull out all the stops: paint rainbow pride posters, dress up in rainbow and glitter, dance to some of your favorite LGBTQ+ artists, and, most importantly, explain to your minis why you get to celebrate.
- Rainbow Crafts – Let your babe get creative while they’re learning with these rainbow crafts to celebrate pride. As you get to work on your craft of choice, take the time to explain to your little what it means to be proud of who you are and what you stand for, even if that just means standing up and celebrating others.
- Bake the Rainbow – Not feeling crafty? Baking rainbow recipes like this cake or these cookies is another great way to entice your littles into a conversation about pride month. Not to mention, it’s a great excuse to sneak in some sweets.
Of course it can be difficult to know how to introduce these topics to our littles. However, often, you’ll find that your mini is more curious than you think and will ask important questions once the conversation gets going. Be sure to frame your responses in a simple way that’s age appropriate for your babe! Here are a few questions that might help you get these conversations started:
- “Did you know some kids have two mommies (or two daddies) instead of a mommy and a daddy?”
- “Some boys wear dresses instead of shorts and that’s totally ok! What do you like to wear? Why do you like to wear it?”
- “I love rainbows because it includes every single color! How can you make sure you include everyone at school or when you play?”
- “Even though you like to play with dolls, it’s ok if you like to play with trucks and dinosaurs too! What toys do you like to play with? Why do you like to play with them?”
- “Did you know some people are born with the body of a girl and the heart of a boy?”
- “You know that all love is awesome, right? That means that no matter who you love, it will always be a beautiful and magical thing!”